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Ferrari make key observation after strong start to season

Ferrari believe that they are now on terms with the best power units in Formula 1, having lacked in this department last year.

Leclerc Saudi
To news overview © RN365/Michael Potts

Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto is confident that there is "very little" between Formula 1's various power units after the Italian outfit worked hard over the winter to overturn their engine "disadvantage".

Ferrari and Red Bull (the latter using rebadged Honda power units) have emerged as 2022's early pace-setters, going head-to-head for victory at the first two races of the season in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

During qualifying at the high-speed Jeddah Corniche Circuit last time out, Red Bull- and Ferrari-powered cars filled the top six positions through the speed trap, with only one Mercedes-engined driver breaking into the top 10.

Ferrari's power unit disadvantage is no more

Asked for his take on the current power unit pecking order, which also includes the Renault-powered Alpine team, Binotto was happy to state that Ferrari - backed up by their own analysis - are now "more in line" with the competition.

"As we often said, last year we [had] a disadvantage that we tried to catch up," Binotto explained to media, including RacingNews365.com.

"I think if we look at the data today, we are certainly more in line. On the first two races, and on the analysis we've done so far, it seems that between the power units of different manufacturers, the difference is very little.

"I think we're really reaching a convergence, so while it was a disadvantage for us last year, it's not anymore."

Engine is not yet an "advantage" for Ferrari

However, while plenty of progress has been made, Charles Leclerc feels it is too early to say that Ferrari have turned their engine disadvantage into an outright advantage.

"I can feel the difference from the car [and] the progress that's been made from last year to this year, which is nice," said Leclerc, when asked about Ferrari's apparent power unit gains.

"It's the result of all the work of the guys back in Maranello and is also a reason why we are much more competitive this year, so it's great to see that.

"On the other hand, I don't think we have any advantage. I think we are very similar to where Red Bull is at the moment – they seem to be very strong power unit-wise.

"We need to keep pushing, but it is definitely a big step from last year."

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